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Indians Open Three-Game Set In Pittsburgh Tonight

(Sports Network) -   Carlos Santana had two hits and knocked in what proved to be the game-winning run in a four-run seventh, and the Cleveland Indians snapped their losing streak while extending thePirates' with a 4-3 win over Pittsburgh.

Jason Donald added two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Indians, who had lost their last four games after winning four in a row. Anderson Hernandez also had two hits, while Trevor Crowe and Shin-Soo Choo each knocked in a run.

Fausto Carmona (6-5) exceeded his 2009 win total after allowing three runs on five hits and a walk while fanning seven in six-plus innings. Kerry Wood worked a perfect ninth for his fifth save.

Ryan Church hit a three-run double to account for all of Pittsburgh's offense, as the Pirates lost their 12th consecutive contest. Neil Walker and Garrett Jones each had a pair of hits in defeat.

Paul Maholm (4-5) lasted 6 2/3 innings and yielded four runs on seven hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts.

Neither team threatened much in the first six innings, combining for six baserunners and only two in scoring position.

Cleveland, though, finally broke the scoreless tie in the seventh, getting to Maholm for four runs.

Jhonny Peralta led off the frame with a double and moved to third on Hernandez's one-out single. Donald poked a single to right, plating Peralta for a 1-0 lead.

Carmona struck out looking for the second out, but Crowe and Choo each added an RBI single to chase Maholm from the game. Joel Hanrahan came in and immediately served up a double to Santana, scoring Crowe, but Choo was thrown out trying to score on the play.

Pittsburgh, though, came back with its own big inning in the home half.

Carmona allowed two singles and a walk to the first three batters to quickly load the bases, and Church came through with a double to the gap that scored all three runners for a one-run game.

Rafael Perez came in to get out of the jam, and Church advanced to third on Pedro Alvarez's fly out. With a chance to tie the game on a fly ball, Ryan Doumit popped out weakly to shortstop. The Indians brought in Frank Herrmann to finish the inning, and he induced a fly out from Ronny Cedeno to maintain the lead.

The Pirates would not get the tying run, however. Jose Tabata hit a one-out double off Chris Perez in the eighth, but Perez retired the next two hitters.

Wood came in and retired three straight batters to seal the win.

Carmona went 5-12 last season...The Pirates won last season's series, 2-1...Despite the win, Cleveland is just 15-31 in interleague play since the start of 2008...Pittsburgh is 0-7 in interleague play this season...The Pirates have not allowed a home run in their last seven home games...Carmona has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 12 of his 14 starts.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.